Options for Home Energy Audits

Doing a home energy audit can save a lot of energy and money.  Several home energy audit options are available for different budgets and do-it-yourself knowhow.  They range from free to $400 or more depending on the degree of accuracy and thoroughness. You can hire a professional energy auditor or you can do a simplified audit yourself.  There are also websites that offer remote home energy audits. Some utility companies offer home energy audits at little or no cost, but these are much less thorough than the services a professional auditor will provide.  Your utility company will also be able to direct you to professional auditors in your area.



Home Energy Audit - Plug and CordCredit: cohdra / morguefile.com

Professional Home Energy Audit

This option is by far the most expensive and the most useful and thorough type of energy audit.  A professional auditor will come to your home and perform tests such as the blower door test, infrared thermo imaging, pressure pan test, and testing of HVAC equipment efficiency. Upon completion, you will be provided with a written report about the efficiency of your home including an overview of where the house is losing energy, recommendations to improve efficiency, and an estimate of how much each measure can save. The report will include a great deal of information about your home and guidance for saving energy.



Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audit

It can be a fun and informative process to work through a DIY energy audit.  It will take quite a bit of time to do the audit and make appropriate repairs and will involve crawling around in your basement and attic.  If that sounds like a drag to you, then you may prefer to hire a professional energy consultant.  If it sounds like fun, or at least tolerable then get out your work clothes and a dust mask and get started. 



Utility Company Home Energy Audit

Most utility companies offer home energy assessments for little or no cost.  They may have an online program to remotely perform the audit or they may send someone out to your house. Contact your utility company to find out if they provide auditing services and if so what the cost is and what an audit includes. These audits are minimal but can provide you with good recommendations for making your home more efficient.



Online Home Energy Audit

There are several sites online that offer remote home energy audits for free or low cost. These assessments can be beneficial for some, particularly for standard homes that haven’t had a lot of renovations. These types of sites will ask for information about your home and energy use, and then offer recommendations based on the information you provided.  These online energy assessments provide general information that is a good starting point, but they are unable to be very specific when it comes to your unique home. Because of their limitations, they are less valuable than actual in home audits.



Energy Auditing Training Programs

If you are interested in learning how to do professional quality energy audits yourself or are interested in a career in energy efficiency, there are online energy auditor training programs available.  With online training programs you can become a professional energy auditor and make money doing home audits for others.



Whether you your own energy assessment or hire an energy consultant, a home energy audit will provide information about inefficiencies in your home. It will help you discover ways to save energy at home and where to spend the most effort for the greatest benefit when making repairs.